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Charles Gibson


Mr. Charles Gibson was born in 1854 in Maryland, likely enslaved. His mother, Matilda Pils, was possibly enslaved by Mr. John Hoppe, of Carroll County. His father was Mr. Peter Gibson. We first find him listed by name in the 1870 US Census living with Mr. Josephus Hoppe’s family as a servant, along with his brothers, Frank and Jesse.

Mr. Gibson continued to live and work in Westminster, often near his brothers. In 1880, he was living near his brother, Mr. Frank Gibson. By 1900, he was working for and living with Mrs. Clara Hoppe Baile. Mrs. Balie was a daughter of Mr. Hoppe, and about 5 years younger than Mr. Gibson was. They therefore had been children together in the same household, yet in much difference circumstances.

Mr. Gibson later began working for Mr. E. Oliver Grimes, Jr., in Westminster. Then, unexpectedly, on the morning of January 12th, 1910, he was found hanging from a tree. It was unlikely a lynching, as such acts were designed to terrorize, and therefore done publicly. The courts ruled his death a suicide. One newspaper reported that he had been “never of a strong mind.”

He was buried in Ellsworth Cemetery, next to his brother, Mr. John Gibson, who died in 1908.

At this point in the story, Mrs. Baile returns. She had moved to Colorado in 1901. She must have read about Mr. Charles Gibson’s death or learned about it from her family. Her own husband had committed suicide in their barn 15 years previously. She paid for a headstone, with the brothers’ names on it. Below their names is engraved, “Erected by Clara B. Baile”.



American Sentinel, 14 January 1910


Maryland Death Certificate

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